The DERC team have been working on updating and improving our web-site. The revised
version will be up and running in March and will include
contacts for local recording schemes and
groups. Additions and updates are welcome, so please
contact us with new information.
There have also been changes to the NBN Gateway at
It now has over 17 million species records available which can be viewed as
distribution maps, and includes a taxonomy checker (the
NBN Species Dictionary maintained by the Natural History
Photo: Bryan Edwards
As I write, the sequel in the Recording Dorset series is about to go to
press. Recording Dorset 8 will be available shortly from the
DERC office. More details
will soon available on this web-site.
2005 already promises some interesting new projects. DERCís involvement in the
invertebrates of soft cliffs project has generated much interest and we are keen
to encourage local recorders to attend the recording days organised with the
Natural History & Archaeological Society and the Dorset Invertebrate
We have also arranged several summer workshops, and I hope we shall see many of
Carolyn Steele (Record Centre Manager)
Invertebrates on Soft Cliffs
Buglife, The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, is undertaking a nation-wide
project to assess the invertebrate assemblages of soft cliffs and make recommendations
for management and site and species protection. Soft cliffs are those that are actively
eroding, and maybe formed of chalk, clays, muds, sands or shales. They are a rare
resource nationally but Dorset supports some of the best examples and DERC has been
chosen to run a pilot project. DERC will be investigating in detail five sites mapping
the vegetation types present and sampling the invertebrate fauna found within them.
Photo: Bryan Edwards
DERC will also be holding a series of recording days looking at other soft cliff
sites. In partnership with the
Dorset Invertebrate Group
and the Dorset Natural History
& Archaeological Society the following dates have been set:
Saturday 25th June
|Ware Cliff, west of Lyme Regis
||Meet in the sea-front car park by the Bowling Green near The Cobb SY336915. There will be a charge for parking.
Saturday 16th July
||Meet by Bowleaze Cove SY702820, parking on road near the holiday camp.
Saturday 10th September
|West Weare, Isle of Portland
||Meet in small car park (no charge) at Chiswell SY683734.
All workshops are free and open to anyone. However, soft cliffs are dangerous and can be treacherous underfoot. The meetings will only take place if the leaders consider the area stable with good sea and weather conditions. These days are not suitable for children. There is no need to book, but if you would like to register your interest, please
The winter months saw the completion of an Inventory of Eelgrass Beds in Devon
and Dorset 2004. Eelgrass is nationally and internationally an important marine
flowering plant found in coastal waters, around the British Isles to about 10m
depth. Eelgrass species are protected under the Berne Convention and eelgrass
beds are a Priority Habitat with a Habitat Action Plan (HAP).
Mixed red seaweeds in a rockpool
Photo: Peter Tinsley
The Inventory can be used as an aid to those who are or will be involved in
managing the coast and tackling issues that threaten it. It also identifies
areas where re-surveying may be needed. This Inventory highlights the fact that
eelgrass beds are under threat within Dorset and Devon.
Copies are available through DERC as a CD (£15) or paper copy (£30).
Currently our Marine Biodiversity
Database holds over 33,000 records. The latest datasets include recent
records from the
Dorset Seasearch and
Dennis Seawardís marine records dating back to 1976.
Summer Workshops 2005
The new programme of Summer Workshops has been finalised and can be found on
our Workshops page.
Each year DERC run a series of workshops to encourage recording within the
county. If you are interested, please book in advance as places are limited.
Alterations to the programme may be necessary and final details are sent out
before each workshop. There is a small charge for each workshop to help cover